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Post Mortem on air crash victims to conclude today
2005-08-22 12:22:10

Nicosia, Aug 21 (CNA) -- Post mortem on the bodies of the victims of last Sunday's air crash, near Athens, that killed all 121 people on board, are to be concluded today.

Other medical examinations continue to determine whether passengers and crew had inhaled toxic fumes other than carbon monoxide. Results on this are expected in the course of the week.

Forensic experts are also working to identify those bodies not yet identified by their relatives, with the aid of 133 DNA samples, taken from the next of kin in Cyprus and sent to Athens.

Coroners working on the bodies of those killed, most of whom Cypriots, have confirmed their initial assessment that the passengers and crew were alive when the aircraft crashed into Grammatikos mountainside, north of Athens.

Forensic experts have also confirmed reports that air steward Andreas Prodromou was the person seen in the cockpit trying to land the Boeing 737 as it was losing height, since the pilot and the co-pilot were not fit to fly the aircraft. They said blood found in the cockpit matched that of Cypriot born Prodromou.

In Athens, the head of Civil Aviation dismissed press reports that Greek premier Costas Karamanlis had ordered him to resign for alleged delay in monitoring of the Helios Boeing after it entered FIR Athens.

Today memorial services were held in churches in Cyprus for the victims of the air tragedy as speculation about the cause of the accident continued.

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